JP Morgan says Intel's chip shortage is 'worsening' and will hurt fourth-quarter PC sales by up to 7%

  • J.P. Morgan believes the processor shortage for Intel chips will significantly impact PC industry sales later this year.
  • “Our conversations with PC vendors indicate that the shortage, which started in small magnitude in 3Q, has been progressively worsening and is likely to have the maximum impact in 4Q18,” the firm’s Asia Pacific technology analyst Gokul Hariharan says.
The Intel logo is displayed outside of the Intel headquarters  in Santa Clara, California. 
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
The Intel logo is displayed outside of the Intel headquarters  in Santa Clara, California. 

Intel isn't making enough processor chips to meet demand and that will be a problem for PC sales this holiday quarter, according to J.P. Morgan.

The firm estimates the Intel processor and chipset shortage will hurt fourth-quarter PC shipments by 5 to 7 percent.

"Our conversations with PC vendors indicate that the shortage, which started in small magnitude in 3Q, has been progressively worsening and is likely to have the maximum impact in 4Q18," the firm's Asia-Pacific technology analyst, Gokul Hariharan, said in a note to clients Friday. "We expect this to affect both notebook and desktop PCs and likely to have a higher impact on commercial and high-end consumer PCs, where using AMD or older Intel family of CPUs as substitutes are more difficult."

Intel shares declined by 0.1 percent Friday.

Hariharan believes Intel may have already converted some of its 14 nanometer manufacturing capacity to the 10 nanometer process. Unfortunately the chipmaker has announced a delay in moving its next-generation manufacturing technology to holiday 2019, which may be crimping overall chip production, according to Hariharan.

One nanometer equals one-billionth of a meter. Smaller nanometer chipmaking technologies historically have allowed companies to create faster, more power-efficient chips.

The analyst said Intel's manufacturing issues will likely benefit its primary competitor in PC processors. AMD expects to launch its 7 nanometer processor chips next year.

"We see rising interests in AMD adoption in the next cycle from PC OEMs given recent Intel CPU supply concerns," he said.

In July, technology research firm IDC reported second-quarter global PC shipments rose 2.7 percent year over year, which marked the highest quarterly growth rate in more than six years.

Intel shares are down 1.3 percent this year through Thursday, while AMD's stock is up nearly 200 percent in the same time period.

Asian media outlet Digitimes reported the Intel chip supply and manufacturing issues on Aug. 31, which is now corroborated by J.P. Morgan's research.

When asked for comment on the J.P. Morgan report, Intel sent this statement:

"Customer demand has continued to improve over the course of the year, fueling growth in every segment of Intel's business and raising our 2018 revenue outlook $4.5 billion from our January expectations. We will have supply to meet our announced, full-year revenue outlook and we're working closely with our customers and factories to manage any additional upside."

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